Robert E. Rambusch, the noted liturgical artist, designer and recognized pioneer in the profession of liturgical design consultation, died May 23 of cardiac arrest. He was 93.
A Mass of Christian burial was celebrated June 20 in St. Joseph’s Church, Greenwich Village.
During a 65-year career, he influenced the shape of worship in the design and renovation of 24 cathedrals and 400 churches in the United States, including St. James Cathedral-Basilica, Downtown Brooklyn; St. Brendan’s Church, Midwood; and St. Gregory the Great,Bellerose.
He was a member of the board of the Liturgical Conference and was a member of the North American Academy of Liturgy, Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions and the American Institute of Architects, and the Forum on Religion, Art, and Architecture.
Much involved in the liturgical renovations that followed the Second Vatican Council, he disliked the “new traditonalism” that has crept into church design in recent years.
Born in Brooklyn, he studied at Pratt Institute, the University of Toronto and Le Centre de L’Art Sacre in Paris. He embraced the principle that religious art cannot develop outside the artistic life of its time.
He was active with Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker, as well the Civil Rights and anti-war movements.
During World War II, he served in the 45th Infantry Division under General George Patton in North Africa, Sicily and Europe and was art of the liberation of Dachau concentration camp. He was the recipient of the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star.
He is survived by his son, Rob, and daughter, Alexandra.